New breast cancer test uses 3-D technology

Stamford Hospital's Women's Breast Center recently announced it is the only center in the region to offer a new breast cancer detection test.

Digital breast tomosynthesis is used to perform three-dimensional mammography for breast cancer screening and diagnosis. According to the breast center, the technology provides clearer, more detailed images and reduces false positives, including unnecessary callbacks and biopsies.

"Breast tomosynthesis is a revolutionary technology that gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue," a press release issued by the center said. "During a tomosynthesis exam, multiple low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles. These images are then used to produce a series of one-millimeter-thick slices that can be viewed as a 3-D reconstruction of the breast."

"For decades we have been searching for a technology to help us find cancers at the earliest, most curable stages and reduce false positives," said Dr. David Gruen, director of Women's Imaging at Stamford Hospital and co-director of the hospital's Women's Breast Center. "With tomosynthesis 3-D mammography we have clearer, more detailed images that do just that."

The new technology can provide both traditional 2-D digital mammography as well as 3-D tomosynthesis with one piece of equipment, and is completed in seconds. Radiation remains safely below the national guidelines during breast tomosynthesis, and it can be used in conjunction with or in place of traditional digital mammography, the press release said. The technology is available at both Stamford Hospital's Tully Health Center and Darien Imaging Center.

In addition, all patients seen during normal business hours will receive their results prior to leaving the center. Evening and weekend patients will receive their results the next business day. Flexible day, evening and weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) appointments are available. Walk-ins are welcome.

Information and appointments: 203-276-7763.